Q&A of the Day – Where Florida’s & FPL’s Power Comes From

Q&A of the Day – Where Florida’s & FPL’s Power Comes From 

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods.   

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com  

Social: @brianmuddradio 

iHeartRadio: Use the Talkback feature – the microphone button on our station’s page in the iHeart app.    

Today’s Entry: Brian, thanks for the update on power bills. I have a business with heavy AC usage and despite how hot this summer has been (I’m sure the next bill will be high), I’d begun to notice the difference in the utility bill. Awhile back you had a story about where power is derived from and as I recall renewables were becoming a meaningful part of FPL’s energy generation. Has the conversion rate increased as high inflation has impacted energy prices? 

Bottom Line: It was just over a year ago that I most recently covered this topic as 40+ year high inflation was at its peak and power bills were rapidly rising in costs along with everything else. The better news this summer is that despite the heat wave we’ve been experiencing for weeks, the cost of energy has been coming down. The latest reporting from the Florida Public Service Commission shows electricity rates have been decreasing statewide since April. The price declines are due to lower natural gas prices which are the leading source of energy for Florida’s utility companies. As I noted when reporting on this news, FPL customers are saving an average $8.38 per month over peak rate levels in April. In FPL’s case their 30 by 30 plan, which calls for 30% of the utility’s power generation to come from solar by 2030, was already leading to rapid power conversion away from traditional energy sources prior to the impact of extraordinarily high inflation. It’s certainly continued over the past year. I’ll breakdown what’s happened with FPL, but first here’s an overview of the entire state’s power generation: 

  • Florida is the 2nd leading producer of power nationally   
  • 75% of Florida’s power is derived from natural gas 
  • 11% from nuclear power  
  • 8% from renewables led by solar 
  • 5% from coal 
  • >1% Petroleum  

Over the last year Florida’s utility companies have reduced traditional fuel sources used to generate power by 1%, replacing it with renewables – mostly in the form of solar. Specific to what’s happening with FPL. Here’s how FPL’s power is generated (as of the end of last year):  

  • 76% Natural Gas (-2% yoy) 
  • 11% Nuclear (-1% yoy) 
  • 11% Solar (+1% yoy) 
  • 2% Other (mostly petroleum +2% yoy) 

FPL’s use of natural gas, while on the decline, obviously still accounts for the lion’s share of the utility’s power generation. It also remains above the state average, which explains why price declines in natural gas have led FPL customers to see the largest rate decreases in the state in recent months. As noted, the conversation to renewable energy, solar, has increased by 1%, however that took the place of nuclear use as opposed to natural resources.  

FPL’s rate of renewable power generation is 27% higher than the average of all Florida utility companies. On that note, of large utility companies nationally, FPL currently ranks 2nd nationally in overall energy efficiency as measured by the US Department of Energy. At last count FPL had 51 solar energy centers scattered throughout the state, an increase of nine over the past year. As a result, I’d expect we’ll hear about a sizeable jump in FPL’s solar generation by the end of the year and it appears that FPL is well ahead of schedule in meeting their 30 by 30 solar plan. Should that happen, we’d likely be looking at less than 60% of FPL’s power generation coming from traditional fuel sources by the end of the decade. That would no doubt lead to less volatility in utility rates. 

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content